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Financial Advisor Career Advice
Advice for financial services professionals on how to make the most of 2014
Paul Ridley, Assistant Business Manager at Reed Insurance in Bristol, highlights the key trends that will affect jobseekers in the financial advisory market in 2014.
2014 looks promising for financial services jobseekers
While 2013 has been a year of change for financial services, 2014 looks set to be more stable. More and more advisers are picking up further qualifications and gaining chartered and/or certified status, and it's vital that jobseekers remain competitive. With increasing desire from employers to recruit individuals who can advise affluent clients and network with other professional services sectors (e.g. legal, accounting), 2014 should be a good year for the financial services jobseeker who stays ahead of the game.
Financial adviser vacancies on the rise
There has been an encouraging increase in the number of financial adviser vacancies in the last quarter of 2013. After a relatively quiet summer, September saw a noticeable change when a large number of wealth management firms began planning for 2014. The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) saw a large number of financial advisers exit the industry, but it also saw many new financial advisory firms being formed and client banks acquired, causing a resultant need for many businesses to recruit new high-quality financial advisers.
£50k+ roles on the increase
As the financial services industry has moved from commission to fee-based advice, salaries have generally increased even if overall earnings potential has fallen. Taking into account the fact that there are also far more chartered and certified financial planners than there were a few years back, we have two valid reasons for the buoyancy of the £50k+ market right now.
Before RDR, a commissions-driven financial services industry meant we were looking at salaries of £20-40k with potentially high commission levels for big producers. Now we are seeing higher base salaries and an increasing number of £50k+ financial planner roles. Highly qualified, technically gifted financial planners are able to command salaries of £60-75k, with a discretionary bonus based on more than just how much business they've written.
Continued movement in the volume market
The volume market has always been moving and 2014 is likely to be no different. Financial advice has always been a progressive market with jobseekers enhancing their skill set by becoming more qualified and working across new niche areas of financial planning, and businesses improving their client banks by acquisition or joint venture. What this means is that many firms are regularly on the lookout for fresh talent, and jobseekers are keeping their ears to the ground in case a better opportunity is around the corner.
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Company research key for effective career progression
Exercise due diligence when researching prospective employers before making a big decision. There are plenty of quality financial advisory firms that deliver exactly what they promise at interview and offer superb long-term careers to financial advisers. Unfortunately, there are also some organisations for which reality does not match what is promised. My advice for jobseekers is to meet a prospective employer at least three times if possible, to research the business on Companies House and in the media, and to try to speak with existing advisers about their experience at the company. When making a big decision that affects your career, you should do everything you can to ensure that you have the most accurate picture in your mind.
With over 30 years financial services recruitment experience in our team in Bristol, we often find that jobseekers who used our services early in their career return at a later date for assistance in furthering their career. The diploma-qualified IFA from 2008 has risen to become a chartered and certified financial planner in 2014, and we are just as equipped to help now as we were in those early days.